Today’s guest is someone that has represented the United States in the last few years and has both individual and team medals to show for his efforts.
His strong performances have earned him a spot as a professional trail runner on the Nike Trail Team.
I look forward to trying to keep up with Tayte Pollmann for a few miles today.
An Early Love Affair
Tayte was exposed to long distance running and trails at a young age from his ultra running father.
Tennis was the first sport Tayte played, but once he tried trail running with his dad he was hooked.
Trails and long distance were what Tayte excelled at and his college coach took notice.
Tayte joined the track and cross country teams for most workouts but occasionally did separate workouts that focused primarily on trails.
During his college years, he joined the U.S. Junior Mountain team and last year signed with Nike.
No stranger to the world stage, Tayte competed in the long distance world championship 2 years in a row.
This past May, he graduated from college and has been adjusting to being a full-time pro athlete.
In an effort to get more involved in other aspects of the sport, he began writing for the American Trail Running Association.
Trail Running 101
Tayte’s goal in writing articles was to educate other on the world of trail running.
Trail running is still a somewhat obscure sport that young runners are often not exposed to.
A trail community has to be in place in order for kids to get the opportunity to try it.
In the future, Tayte hopes to give talks to a specific high school or other running group and get more parents involved.
Some of the many reasons to try trails are:
- The community is more relaxed than on the road or track.
- Exposure to a variety of people- very diverse.
- The racing mentality is unique to the trails.
- Each course and the weather on that given day will humble every runner at some point.
- Trails force runners to be more adaptable.
- Trail running is more forgiving on the body. There is less impact on the joints and it works more muscles.
Tayte’s first experience running at a higher level was during college when he competed with the U.S. Junior Mountain Running Team.
Competing on a U.S. team gave him the opportunity to travel while running.
It was during this period that he realized he wanted to dedicate his life to the sport.
During 2017, Tayte competed for the U.S. team for the second time and earned a bronze individual medal.
His strong performances, including a win in the 52k Broken Arrow Skyrace, have opened up an opportunity to go professional.
For Tayte running professionally is not much different for him than before he was paid to do it.
At the start line of a big race, he tries to relax and remember that he is the one that chooses to put himself there.
In trail racing, the winner is whoever is the most prepared and flexible.
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